South Africa’s president names Cabinet of national unity

Cyril Ramaphosa picks Ronald Lamola as top diplomat, retains deputy president, finance minister

Hassan Isilow  | 01.07.2024 - Update : 01.07.2024
South Africa’s president names Cabinet of national unity South African President Cyril Ramaphosa


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his much anticipated Cabinet of the government of national unity (GNU) late Sunday, retaining Paul Mashatile as his deputy.  

Ramaphosa also appointed 40-year-old Ronald Lamola as the new minister of International Relations and Cooperation. Lamola, who was the former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, is one of the youngest members of the Cabinet. He succeeded Naledi Pandor.

Ramaphosa also retained Enoch Godongwana as finance minister, with David Masondo and the Democratic Alliance (DA) party’s Ashor Sarupen as his two deputies.

"These men and women we have appointed to the executive are drawn from all corners of our country. None of the members of the National Executive has been appointed to serve the interests of a particular constituency, a particular party or a particular section of society," Ramaphosa said.

He also appointed his main political rival DA leader John Steenhuisen as Minister of Agriculture.

A total of 11 political parties reached a deal to form the GNU after Ramaphosa’s African National Congress party, which had ruled South Africa without a coalition for the past three decades, lost its majority in the national and provincial elections on May 29.

Ramaphosa’s Cabinet announcement was delayed after intense bargaining and lengthy negotiations for Cabinet positions with 10 partners, particularly the second largest party DA.

Members of the South African parliament re-elected Ramaphosa, 71, on June 15 as president for a second term during the first sitting of the legislature.

He was officially sworn in as the seventh democratically elected president on June 19 at a colorful ceremony in the capital Pretoria attended by several heads of state and leaders of government.

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